Leadership Series: Tremaine Atkinson's Journey from Home Brewer to CH Distillery Founder

“I actually started a brewery when I was about 27 with two buddies and five thousand bucks and it didn’t last very long because we ran out of money,” says Tremaine Atkinson lightheartedly. “But that planted the seed many years ago for what would become CH.”

CH Distillery is Chicago’s first dedicated vodka distillery. It opened August of 2013 after Atkinson left his finance career to pursue his passion for turning raw ingredients into delicious spirits.

“I realized that if I was going to do something in alcohol I would need to raise enough capital to be able to do it successfully. So, I spent years in another career raising that capital…,” explained Atkinson, Founder of CH Distillery.

Not only was he able to raise enough capital but he also learned important skills along the way that prepared him to lead a successful business. In this leadership series, Atkinson talks about how to overcome challenges, secrets to success, and valuable leadership lessons.

Sign up to Foodable+ to watch this video and get more exclusive content!

These Beverage Experts Are Pumped About Sustainable Straws and Szechuan Peppercorn

This episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse is chock-full of great beverage insights from coffee makers to bartenders and spirit distillers. Host Chelsea Keenan hears from beverage experts about consumer trends they are seeing and trends they are pushing for in the next few years.

The founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, Geoff Watts, and Sourcing Director Michael Sheridan take us to the root of coffee, or more specifically— the cherry. Coffee is grown on trees in the form of cherries. These are then picked off the trees and from there the seeds can go through a variety of different processes at different stages, all creating different flavors from the same coffee bean. Watts outlines the process for honey coffee, a very popular process with today’s consumers.

“You can take it off the tree and immediately take off the skin and put the coffee into a big tank... and let it sit and ferment or have an enzymatic breakdown of this sticky mucilage on there.”

As farmers and coffee houses are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, natural processes like honey coffee are beginning to gain traction.

Bartenders Danielle Dang and Robin Goodfellow chime in with trends they have been seeing behind the bar. The American population is moving towards favoring more responsible, sustainable practices. In an effort to be a part of the movement, Goodfellow says he needs help from industry suppliers.

“Like, there's this huge big straw debate going on in the cocktail industry, like ‘Don’t give straws to guests! It’s ruining the environment!’ you know? And guests wants straws,” he explains, “so as a designer, I’m furious that straw companies are not making biodegradable straws. This is not my problem: To use straws or not to use straws. Make it better!”

Be sure to watch the episode for other great insights from our experts on this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse.

Local Experts Chime in on Chicago’s Changing Restaurant Scene

Local Experts Chime in on Chicago’s Changing Restaurant Scene

By Mae Velasco, Custom Content Manager

At more than 7,300 restaurants, and as the third largest city in the United States with nearly 3 million people, Chicago’s food scene is deeper than the deep-dish pizza it’s famous for. 

The restaurant scene is in constant evolution. Ethnic pockets of flavor, like Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, and culinary influences like Pakistani, Indian, Polish, and Mexican, spice up its streets. Chicago is making its name with its exploration in molecular gastronomy, craft brewing, and distilled spirits, as well. 

With a culture this diverse and dynamic, it’s no surprise Chicago is home to the NRA Show and Foodable’s newest event and food-focused film festivalFoodable.io.  

But where is Chicago heading? We’re bringing you answers from the experts who hail from Chicago itself — and who happen to be speaking at Foodable.io, too. 

Check out why they think the Windy City blows the industry away with more than just hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.

Read More

CH Distillery — Combining Science and Art in Mixology

Watch this episode on

At CH Distillery, Chicago can get a taste of the city's only truly local vodka. But it's not only its use of local ingredients that sets it apart from the competition. With its unique, lab-like venue and transparent glass windows showing off its in-house liquor making, CH Distillery gives guests a completely new experience and new flavor offerings! 

Join host Paul Barron to get a behind-the-scenes look with co-founder Tremaine Atkinson and Managing Director of Food & Beverage Cassie Levy-Roseroot, and discover how their creative concoctions are a prime example of how mixology is both a science and an art form! 

All in this episode of "Across the Bar," brought to you by the Foodable Network.

Get a Taste of Chicago’s CH Distillery

Mixology, defined as the study, art or skill of preparing mixed drinks, is just as much of a science as it is an art form. Bartenders must consider balance and acidity, while those more advanced may take a step beyond, playing with additional elements and forms.

CH Distillery in Chicago is one of the few places we’ve seen where chemistry goes beyond the glass and is everywhere you look, a modern, lab-like venue making its own liquor in-house, a sight to see via transparent glass windows. Step inside as we give you a sneak peek into CH Distillery’s unique flavor, and make sure to stay tuned for the full “Across the Bar” episode, coming soon!